Radcliffe starts their season in the Northern Premier League this Saturday against South Shields. The Football Manc Cave is giving a glimpse into how Radcliffe could line up and more.
Radcliffe have had a pretty interesting pre-season campaign and I got to see two of the games. They lost against Bury 3-1. They also managed a draw with Leicester’s youngsters, 1-1. The Bury game showed some good first-half football form the Boro’ lads, and a goal from Ben Wharton was what saw them look like they might have a chance. Only the second half stood in their way when Bury produced some quality football. There was a little scuffle in the first half involving Rick Smith which made me keep an eye on him in their next game.
The Leicester friendly was certainly not very friendly as a Leicester player apparently spat in a Radcliffe player’s face. This resulted in him and Danny Mitchley being sent off. This was only in the first couple of minutes and it resulted in a huge delay as managers called the referee over to explain his decisions. Shortly after, the ref was calling his linesmen to follow him in walking off the pitch as he didn’t want to take control of the game. It was fans that convinced the officials to rethink and Rick Smith has a quick and quiet word that saw the game go on. Smith also was rewarded with a goal and there was some good football from Boro.
With Dan Mitchley getting a red card in the last friendly, he will certainly be one to watch throughout the season. He’s a great player, just needs to stay out of trouble. Rick Smith and Scott Metcalfe are two other players that can be a bit mouthy with referees so they need to keep quiet and play on. Ben Wharton is a key goal scorer for Radcliffe only you can see him getting tired at times throughout games so he gets taken off early from time to time giving someone else a chance.
Going off friendly games, this is how Radcliffe could line up…
The ultimate decisions will obviously come down to Jon Macken. Harry Winter is a new player who is looking for a chance. Rick Smith has also dropped to a defensive position during the pre-season friendlies which is a change from his usual midfield position. He has done a brilliant job though and even managed to score in games.
Smith is loud at the back and directs the rest of the team too. Ben Wharton could get replaced with Matthew Wolfenden in the second half of the game if he’s looking tired. Finally, new signing, Olapade may be given a chance as the defence has been left open to speculation as it hasn’t been the same in any of the friendlies.